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Best Buy Offering MacBook Air to Students for $650

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 06/21/2014 - 00:18

Best Buy Offering MacBook Air to Students for $650 is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

It’s hard to believe that people are thinking back to school while we’re still in June, but when it comes to computer deals that can save you money, timing can be everything. Best Buy, which calls itself the Back To School Techfitter, has a couple of deals running that, if you are a student, you can put them together to save quite a bit of money on a new MacBook Air and also enjoy considerable savings on other Apple products including iPads and iMacs.

By providing your student email address you can receive a coupon code that allows you to take $150 off of the newest lineup of Apple products. If you’re considering a a new MacBook Air, it gets even better. Best Buy is already discounting $100 from Apple’s price on the newest entry level 11.6 inch MacBook Air. For example that model with a Core i5 processor, 128GB of SSD storage and 4GB of memory normally retails at Apple for $899. Best Buy is currently offering that model for $799, but only through tomorrow, Saturday, July 21. If you apply the $150 student discount you can order that MacBook Air for $650. That is a considerable savings of $250.

You can apply the $150 discount to MacBook Pros and iMacs as well, but those devices are not subject to the $100 savings deal that is offered for the MacBook Air through tomorrow. We don’t have information as to when the $150 off back to school promotion expires.

The MacBook Air line for many is considered Apple’s entry level MacBook. It’s thin and light profile might just make it the right laptop to cart around campus in your backpack. The MacBook Air is a favorite among many on the GBM staff.

The 11.6-inch MacBook Air 2014 is 0.68-inch thick at the largest spot and weighs 2.38 pounds. It has a display resolution of 1366×768. It includes two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt port, an SD card slot, and a FaceTime HD Video camera. WiFi is 802.11 A/C. This new MacBook Air 2014 model ships with OS X Mavericks and includes free access to Apple’s iLife suite (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand,) and iWork suite (Pages, Numbers and KeyNote.)

In order to qualify for the deal you have to enter a qualified student email address on this webpage. That email address has to end in .edu. That same qualification can also net you $50 off on an iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display as well as other products at Best Buy. Coupon codes to take advantage of the savings are emailed to that college email address. You then apply that coupon code at checkout if you are shopping online, or you can bring the coupon codes to your local Best Buy and have them applied to your purchase there. Online shoppers also qualify for free shipping.

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Best Buy Offering MacBook Air to Students for $650 is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Yo Upends the World

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 06/20/2014 - 21:13

Yo Upends the World is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

The mobile revolution and human evolution came full circle today, with Google’s announcement that its search algorithms would now rank content that contains one word and one picture higher than it would more wordy posts. Google’s announcement puts the punctuation on one of the fastest adoptions of social change ever recorded in human history that followed the adoption of the mobile App: Yo. The news follows an announcement from the developer of Yo that it would soon be releasing a Yo smartphone that featured only the signature App and a camera.

Yo began its unprecedented impact on human society in April 2014 as an App that featured a simple way of human communication. By tapping the one button in the App a user could send a simple message, “Yo” to another user. After suffering a hack by college students one month after launch, Yo quickly righted itself. While initially derided and scorned by many, the developer of Yo seemed to have uncannily tapped into the trend in human nature and mobile computing that saw the desire to simplify the act of communication. Saying that context was all that was needed to make the single word “Yo” work in any circumstance, the developer was proved right as more and more mobile device users led what became a stampede away from complex communication methods and structures to a more simpler way of human expression.

According to noted social scientist Zbignew Po,

“Yo, simply put, took us back to our simple roots as humans when one syllable utterances were all we need to communicate our thoughts and feelings within any context. Complex languages followed when humans mistakenly thought they needed more thorough human communication structures. And sadly, while most humans adopted these new, and often confusing languages, languages became a way for humans who could master the complexities of any language to control other humans who were less skilled. Languages became borders. Languages became the provence of the elite. Once methods for writing and then printing led to the necessity of learning to read in order to survive in an evolving world, the human race began what looked like a journey to enlightenment. But sadly, as we now know, those methods devolved into a misuse and abuse of language that obscured the real intent behind most communication. We’ve been heading to this in so many parts of our culture for decades now.”

Po continued,

“With Yo, the borders created by language have been erased and human understanding has actually increased, erasing many of the roots of the world’s problems. Though it has lead to economic and political disruption, even in those circumstances Yo is proving that less is more, once humans strip away the unnatural language barriers and begin solving those issues.”

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Google’s announcement of its search algorithm change was met with a chorus of “Yo’s” from many watchers. According to Google CEO Larry Page:

“Yo proved we were right all along with Google Glass. All we need to communicate with each other is one word and a picture to provide context. While we resisted Yo when it first came on the scene as a threat to our advertising business, we quickly realized that Yo could could help us help consumers do away with the manipulation of language structures and deception that the advertising business is built on, to deliver more relevant results. When we abandoned AdWords and began adopting a Yo-friendly method of advertising our revenue went up dramatically. We’re only sorry that we abandoned Google Glass after its rocky introduction but are pleased to say that after re-engaging production we can’t keep up with demand as consumers realize that simply snapping a picture and saying ‘Yo’ allows them to become the advertisers of tomorrow.”

The creators of Yo were unable to trademark, copyright, patent, or otherwise protect the word “Yo,” but that led to an even quicker adoption of the word and concept behind it without those usual legal restrictions.

Po is correct about the economic disruption brought about by Yo. Industries that include journalism, online publishing, advertising, entertainment, telecommunications, and academia have all suffered a drastic reshuffling in the wake of Yo. Some have seen impressive new gains, while some have practically ceased to exist.

Print journalism, already in decline, has ceased to exist. With users receiving their news from online sources that include a picture and the word “Yo,” easily and quickly explaining most events or topics, those who clung to their daily newspapers became such a minority that the industry became no longer viable.

Online publishing, while initially flourishing with the advent of Yo, has also suffered as it became difficult for advertisers to compete with the thousands of Yo streams from everyday humans. Advertising agencies have essentially ceased to exist.

The entertainment industry has tossed thousands of writers, performers, and technicians out of work with a return to an age that almost resembles the silent film industry of long ago. Images accompanied by the word “Yo” became the most lucrative film and television viewing experiences ever. Although companies like Netflix that feature older movies and TV series saw a boost in users who preferred what many are calling “Talkies,” in a nod to the past.

Sports programming has seen an increase in viewership now that announcers can only say “Yo” after allowing viewers to watch game play uninterrupted.

Universities and colleges the world over have begun downsizing and going out of business following trends that see job markets requiring less educated workers. Although academic institutions that specialize in some professions that still require the use of complicated language structures (legal, medical, etc..) see slower declines in enrollment.

The telecommunications industry has changed drastically. Trends in less phone calling and more text based messaging accelerated quickly. Consumers did not require smartphones that featured radios for voice calls once Yo began being adopted in large numbers by mobile users. This led to lower cost devices, the ending of subsidized pricing in the U.S. and declining revenues. With the Federal Communications Commission turning cellular and cable based broadband carriers into public utilities, familiar mobile giants like AT&T and Verizon quickly changed their business models.

Social network services such as Twitter and Facebook that were already on the decline saw some initial hope by following Yo’s trends. Twitter tightened its 140 character limit, only accepting posts with two characters and a picture. Facebook floundered as its users left to cleaner and leaner services that didn’t include so many online games featuring the word “Yo.” When Facebook partnered with Yo, turning the Like button into a Yo button, customers initially responded positively, but quickly found simpler solutions that didn’t involve such difficult methods of setting privacy controls. Meanwhile geo-location services that featured check-ins thrived as all that was required was a “Yo” attached to any location based check-in.

The mobile and computing industries continue to suffer, searching for a way to stay relevant. Microsoft has discontinued its once vaunted Microsoft Office suite. Smartphone and computer makers no longer include full keyboards, virtual or otherwise on their devices. Apple, though hampered, continues to succeed through its music business, with outgoing CEO Tim Cook claiming that the move to acquire Beats audio was prescient, as customers only cared about the music with lyric content becoming increasingly irrelevant with most music now accompanied by video or pictures.

Yo’s move to create its own simplified smartphone comes just months after news that Amazon’s Fire Phone outpaced all other mobile device makers. With its multiple front facing cameras along with multiple rear facing cameras recording constant audio and video of what a consumer was seeing or listening to, Amazon had simplified the interface with a one button “Yo” on the side of the phone. Pressing that button once recommended the product. Pressing it twice purchased the product and had it delivered.

One industry analyst stated:

“We used to think a picture was worth a thousand words. Now, we know that a picture accompanied with one word tells us more than we could ever want to know.”

When asked about the new smartphone initiative and its implications going forward the creators of Yo replied,

“Yo.”

 

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Yo Upends the World is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Google Confirms Anti Theft Feature in New Android Update

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 06/20/2014 - 21:13

Google Confirms Anti Theft Feature in New Android Update is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Lately Google has been addressing many key areas regarding security on our Android smartphones and tablets, and the next version of Android will introduce the biggest feature yet. The Android Device Manager lets you track and wipe lost or stolen Android devices, but a new “kill switch” is coming to deter theft once and for all. Hopefully.

According to comments made this week by Bloomberg, Google will be adding a new anti-theft measure right into the Android operating system, similar to Apple’s iPhone, and delivering a kill switch that should hopefully prevent such large amounts of theft.

Read: How to Find A Lost or Stolen Android Smartphone/Tablet

As you can see in the how to above the Android Device Manager has evolved into a pretty impressive tool for tracking, locking, or finding lost and missing devices, but that still doesn’t help when a smartphone get stolen. The new “kill switch” which is also a bill in congress, could help fix many theft problems.

Smartphones are one of the most common and often stolen devices around the globe, especially in the United States. Being such small, important, and valuable devices, they are big targets. The government has been taking measures to try and enforce some sort of kill switch to prevent so much theft, and following Apple’s lead this week both Google and Microsoft will be joining the cause.

One major feature integrated by Apple on the iPhone is the ability to prevent the smartphone from being wiped out and used by a new party when it was stolen. We’ve heard reports that since introducing such a feature theft has decreased over 19% worldwide, and even 38% in California, but those numbers aren’t official.

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According to Bloomberg the next version of Android will introduce this kill switch, in what the company called a “factory reset protection solution.” We’re not exactly sure what that means, or if they’ll take the same approach as Apple, but either way security is about to get a lot better, and this should be a theft deterrent.

Presumably the new measure by Google will prevent thieves from simply wiping an Android device in settings (or through Android ADB) and using it themselves or selling it on Craigslist and other means. We’re assuming this new kill switch will essentially wipe the device, and lock it. Meaning the users data is safe AND the device can’t be used by someone who stole it.

The comments made by Google claim the “next version of Android” will have this integrated, but we’re not sure what that means. Google released Android 4.4.4 KitKat just this week for Nexus devices, and likely this new feature isn’t included. Meaning we can expect more details to be announced at Google I/O next week, Google’s annual developer conference, or this “kill switch” to debut on Android 4.5 (or 5.0) later this fall.

We can only guesstimate that this new anti-theft measure will be integrated into Android and enabled on the backend of the Android Device Manager, or Google could deliver an entirely new solution that’s easy for all users to manage. That said, this won’t completely curb theft. Considering the second-hand market is so big, not to mention millions of smartphones break each year and users are always looking to save money by repairing them on their own, but this is certainly a good start.

We’ll have to wait and hear more details from Google themselves, but this is a step in the right direction when it come to smartphone theft.

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Google Confirms Anti Theft Feature in New Android Update is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Breakdown

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 06/20/2014 - 16:31

Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Breakdown is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Yesterday, Google delivered a surprise in the form of its Android 4.4.4 KitKat update for its Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 4. The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update replaces the recent Android 4.4.3 KitKat update as Google’s latest piece of software and with Nexus users curious about the quick switch, we want to take a look at everything we know about Google’s latest update to KitKat.

Earlier this month, after several weeks of rumors and speculation, Google released Android 4.4.3 KitKat, its latest version of the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system. Android 4.4.3 KitKat had long been desired by Google’s Nexus users due to the bugs found inside Android 4.4.2 KitKat and fortunately, Android 4.4.3 KitKat delivered.

Android 4.4.3 KitKat is a bug fix update aimed at fixing the issues that Google delivered inside the Android 4.4 KitKat update that it rolled out back in November. The update also brings a new look to the dialer and it adds some cosmetic changes to the People application that Nexus owners use to contact their loved ones.

The Android 4.4.3 KitKat release tackled a lot of issues and with Google I/O and the summer coming up, virtually nobody expected Google to release another version of Android  4.4 KitKat. And that’s why yesterday’s unannounced Android 4.4.4 KitKat release from Google was so shocking to Nexus uses and owners of other Android devices on Android 4.4.3 and below.

Late Thursday, Google pushed out Android 4.4.4 KitKat to Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Nexus 5, and Nexus 4 users bringing those on Android 4.4.3 KitKat up to another version Google’s latest operating system. With Android 4.4.4 KitKat still fresh, and with details swirling around after its release, we want to take a close look at the update that replaced Android 4.4.3 KitKat.

Here is everything you need to know about Google’s latest update to KitKat, Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

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The Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is, for now, limited to owners of Google’s Nexus smartphones and tablets running Android 4.4. That includes the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 10, and both the Nexus 7 2012 and the Nexus 7 2013.

While the roll out started yesterday, Android 4.4.4 KitKat isn’t available to everyone just yet. Google’s OTA roll outs are slow and they typically take a week or so to hit everyone. So Nexus owners will need to remain patient as the company works to deliver its latest update Over-the-Air. When the update does become available, it will prompt users to download and install. Nexus users are encouraged to check for the update in settings but know that checking more than two or three times a day is overkill.

Now, those who are familiar with sideloading and wish to install the update ahead of the OTA roll out will have the ability to do so. Unfortunately, only a few links have been found.

At the moment, only Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 10 users can manually install the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update. Those looking to sideload can pull the update from those links. Nexus users that aren’t familiar with sideloading will want to check out our guide. Simply replace the Nexus 7 for the correct device and replace Android 4.3 with the correct Android 4.4.4 KitKat file.

Eventually, the Android 4.4.4 KitKat files will be found for the Nexus 7 so users will want to keep a look out for them in the hours and days ahead. One thing of note. The Nexus 7 LTE is still without either update and there is still no word from Google about its release. Users are starting to grow a bit impatient but it appears that users will simply have to wait.

While these are the only devices getting the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update right now, there are other Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates on the way. Motorola’s David Schuster, in a post on Google+, says that the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update will be coming to the company’s Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra, and Droid mini. He says that the company is hoping to push in and around a month.

Sorry for the delay in giving an update on the 4.4.3 upgrades but I had to wait unit Google announced KitKat 4.4.4 today (I am bound by a NDA). A significant security vulnerability was discovered by OpenSSL (https://www.openssl.org/news/secadv_20140605.txt) and is fixed in KitKat 4.4.4. We had to wait until KitKat 4.4.4 became available. Consequently, all of our 4.4.3 upgrades that were in carrier labs worldwide (including the 2013 Droid’s) had to be respun, tested and resubmitted again. This was a significant unplanned effort that we had to undertake. We should be re-entering labs next week and hopefully getting TA (technical approval) in 3 to 5 weeks later depending on the carrier.

Given that this is a security fix, there is a good chance that we’ll see Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll out to other devices as well though for the moment, Android 4.4.3 KitKat is still in play.

Android 4.4.3 KitKat Release

Android 4.4.3 KitKat continues to roll out despite the fact that Android 4.4.4 KitKat just replaced it. Today, Sprint pushed the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update live for its Moto X.

The update comes with some notable features for Sprint Moto X owners including:

  • Android™ 4.4.3, KitKat® – Android 4.4.3, KitKat, is the latest release of the Android platform. This release includes several stability, framework and security fixes in addition to accuracy improvements to the power profile.
  • Camera – Improved image quality – Improved camera image quality including better consistency of exposure, more realistic flash coloring, improved photos in low light conditions using front camera.
  • Camera – Pause video recording – Added the ability to pause video recording with a convenient pause/resume button on the viewfinder.
  • Updated Phone dialer – Updated Phone dialer with a new graphical layout and colors to improve consistency and usability.

Several other Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates are said to be in the works. Rumors point to releases for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4 LTE-A, HTC One M8, and HTC One M7 but it’s not clear how Android 4.4.4 KitKat might affect those plans. HTC and Samsung have yet to confirm those updates and so we may not known until release day.

Android 4.4.4 KitKat Features

Android 4.4.3 KitKat delivered bug fixes to Nexus users and as you can see, it brought quite a bit to devices like the Moto X. Android 4.4.4 KitKat is nowhere close to the size of Android 4.4.3.

The update is small, it’s 2.5MB for Nexus users, and it delivers security fixes for Nexus users. Those looking for the full change log can find it here thanks to Funky Android.

Remember, not all Android updates are created equal. While Android 4.4.4 KitKat might be small for Nexus users, it won’t be small for devices like the Motorola Droid Ultra or Galaxy S5. Manufacturers will put their own spin on Android 4.4.4, just like they did with Android 4.4.3, so we can expect to see fixes and enhancements that go beyond a fix for OpenSSL.

Android 4.4.4 KitKat Problems

Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat were both designed to eradicate issues inside of Android 4.4 KitKat. However, as we’ve pointed out, Android 4.4.3 KitKat delivered some problems of its own. Unsurprisingly, we’re starting to see Android 4.4.4 KitKat problems emerge as the update starts to land for Nexus owners.

The complaints aren’t as loud as those about Android 4.4.3 KitKat problems but Android 4.4.4 KitKat issues do exist according to Nexus users on Google’s Product forums.

It appears that Exchange bugs have followed users with Android 4.4.4 KitKat and users are still seeing GPS issues on the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4.4 KitKat on board though some say that it fixed them. So far, this is all we’re seeing. That should change soon after more users upgrade to Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

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Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Breakdown is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Microsoft Pulls Surface Pro 3 User Guide w/ Surface Mini Info

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 06/20/2014 - 16:02

Microsoft Pulls Surface Pro 3 User Guide w/ Surface Mini Info is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

Today Microsoft officially puts the Surface Pro 3 on sale at its own stores, online, and at retailers such as Best Buy. To accompany the release of the new “tablet that can make you forget your laptop” (or vice versa), Microsoft has also released a Surface Pro 3 User Guide that users could download. That’s a good thing for those who might need a little help with the hybrid. But curiously, humorously, and ultimately predictably, the Surface Pro 3 User Guide featured a few errors that included a few references to the still unannounced and still mythical Surface Mini tablet that many thought Microsoft would be selling right about now. Microsoft has now pulled the Surface Pro 3 User Guide.

Before Microsoft pulled the user guide you could have downloaded the document from this link and enjoy some helpful tips for a Surface Mini yourself.

With the Surface Pro 3 User Guide featuring references to the still mythical Surface Mini, it lends credence to the much reported rumors that Microsoft decided almost at the last minute to not release the Surface Mini in May, 2014. Most Microsoft watchers had assumed the Surface Mini was a fait accompli given that invitations to the New York City event featured the clever messaging about the event as “a small gathering.”

It has been a not so well kept secret that Microsoft has had a Surface Mini reasonably ready to go for some time now. The so-called reasons for not releasing a Surface Mini currently are that new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and once again Microsoft executive Stephen Elop felt that the Surface Mini did not have a strong enough business case behind it, given competition from other makers such as Dell and Toshiba who already had low cost 8-inch tablets running Microsoft on the market. Others believed that Microsoft wanted to wait until it could release a touch-friendly version of Office, which it has released for iOS.

Instead of announcing and releasing the Surface Mini, Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3, which goes on sale today. Whether both would have been announced is a matter of debate, had Microsoft not pulled the plug on the Surface Mini. The Surface Pro 3 is a much larger and presumably much more expensive device that features an evolution of the original Surface hardware concept: a tablet that can be a laptop with specially designed keyboard that costs an extra $130.

Some of the included references to the Surface Mini in the user guide looks as if the publication was intended to be a reference solely for the Surface Mini. Other items include references to both the Surface Mini and the Surface Pro 3. Most likely, some quick editing was done to excise references to the Surface Mini, but not as thoroughly as Microsoft was probably hoping.

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The included references feature information on setting up the new pen (remember it is not a stylus) with the Surface Mini as well as other topics.

The Surface Pro 3 has met with an interesting range of early reviewer opinions since its debut in May. While some reviewers praise the hardware and some praise the hybrid nature of Microsoft’s use case for the new device, others have criticized the dual nature of the Surface Pro 3 as having a sort of mobile split personality.

However you slice it, the Surface Pro 3 will find its advocates and its detractors. The question Microsoft is certainly waiting to find an answer for is will consumers take to such a high-end device with such a high-end price tag (the Surface Pro 3 starts at $800 plus $130 for the keyboard). While many tablet consumers who opt for an iPad or other tablet will eventually spend extra for a third-party keyboard and more storage (the Surface Pro 3 low end model comes with 64GB of storage) bringing the prices of the competition more in line, other tablets such as the iPad, don’t include a keyboard as a key feature in their marketing campaigns.

An early check in at two local Chicago Best Buy locations reveals that there were no consumers waiting when the stores opened to purchase a Surface Pro 3. Both stores had the devices in stock.

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Microsoft Pulls Surface Pro 3 User Guide w/ Surface Mini Info is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Emerges for Nexus Users

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 22:39

Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Emerges for Nexus Users is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Just a few weeks ago after months of rumors and speculation Google released Android 4.4.3 KitKat for almost all Nexus devices, Google Play Edition smartphones, and the update even arrived for many Moto smartphone owners. The move wasn’t a surprise as we’d been expecting it for weeks, but today they just delivered Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

With the annual Google I/O developers event quickly approaching next week no one expected Google to be making any moves or changes, but today they just posted the factory images and binaries of Android 4.4.4 KitKat for nearly every recent Nexus device. From the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 (2012) and even the Nexus 10.

Read: Nexus 5 Review

Over the past few weeks Google has been rather busy pushing out the absolute latest and greatest version of Android to multiple devices. That was Android 4.4.3 KitKat for the most new Nexus devices, but today they’re already outdated. There are no signs of updates arriving over the air to smartphones or tablets just yet, but Android 4.4.4 is coming sometime this week, weekend, or early next week.

Google released Android 4.4.3 KitKat earlier this month and has slowly been delivering it to all smartphones in the Nexus range, with the most recent being the Google Nexus 10 tablet earlier this week. However, it appears that owners of the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, both Nexus 7′s, and even the Nexus 10 can all expect Android 4.4.4 to arrive shortly.

This is most likely an extremely, extremely small update that is fixing a bug found inside Android 4.4.3 KitKat that Google thought was big enough to fix asap, but so far there’s absolutely no details regarding what users can expect. With such a quick turn around from one update to another, it’s likely minimal, but we’re looking for more details as we speak.

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During the first week of June Android 4.4.3 KitKat started rolling out to not just Nexus smartphones and tablets, but for users with the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition, HTC One Google Play Edition, and even the new HTC One (M8) Google edition device. Motorola also pushed out Android 4.4.3 KitKat to the Moto X, G, and Moto E all the same day, making it a rather massive push of Google’s latest release.

However, all of that will need to be done over, as Android 4.4.4 is officially here. Well, it has officially been announced and revealed by Google and will start arriving on smartphones and tablets over the course of the next few days.

So what exactly is a factory image? Google posts factory images to its developer site of each version of Android for Nexus devices. This is a place where developers can always return a device to a completely stock, out of the box state. If you’ve ever rooted your smartphone (like iOS Jailbreak) and flashed custom software, many enthusiasts and developers use the factory images to go back to stock. This means owners of all those Nexus devices mentioned above can download and flash Android 4.4.4 KitKat right now using these factory images, but it will wipe out all device data. These aren’t incremental updates that you can simply install and continue, this replaces all software on the device and returns it to a factory state.

Read: Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Breakdown

At the moment we have no details regarding Android 4.4.4 KitKat, or when users can expect it to arrive on their smartphones and tablets, but it’s safe to assume it will be coming via the usual software update notifications in the coming days or weeks.

Update: Sprint has just confirmed Android 4.4.4 KitKat for the Nexus 5, and states its nothing more than a security update. We’ll update once we know more.

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Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Emerges for Nexus Users is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Nexus 8 Rumors Continue as Google Play Edition Devices Disappear

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 22:11

Nexus 8 Rumors Continue as Google Play Edition Devices Disappear is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

With the annual developer event Google I/O inching closer, we’ve continued to hear more and more Nexus 8 reports and rumors, along with talks of it replacing the Nexus 7 on the Google Play Store. While nothing is official just yet, rumors continue to emerge and now we’re seeing Google start to clear room for upcoming devices.

The Nexus 7 was announced last year a month after Google I/O at a small gathering hosted by Google, which was odd considering past years the company released major versions of Android, and devices both at the show. This year however, things are looking to go back to the ways of old with reports of the Nexus 8, along with Google showcasing Android Wear with the new LG G Watch and Moto 360.

Read: HTC One M8 Google Play Edition Hands-On

There are a lot of things we could see at Google I/O this year, and one of them is the new Nexus 8. Rumors continue to swirl that LG or even HTC will build the device, rather than ASUS like the past two Nexus 7 tablets, and with only a week to before Google I/O kicks off, this week Google removed three devices from the Play Store “Google Play Edition” list in what many are reporting is a move to make room for new devices.

The first Google Play Edition device was the Samsung Galaxy S4 last year, followed by the original HTC One GPe. Offering the same smartphone from Samsung or HTC only running completely stock Android, just like Google’s own Nexus devices. The Galaxy S4 GPe was a popular device that many bought while waiting for the LG Nexus 5, and Google could be preparing to offer a few new Google edition devices next month.

This week the Sony Z Ultra, LG G Pad 8.3, and the HTC One (M7) Google Play Edition devices all went from being in stock on the Google Play Store, to out of stock. Obviously they didn’t all sell out at the same time, and surely plenty of inventory is still on hand, which means Google’s either decided time is up, or they’re making room for new devices.

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Typically once a device goes out of stock on Google Play it stays that way, aside from the Nexus 5 and 7 back when they first launched. Meaning many users that were potentially looking to buy one of the three devices mentioned above, the chance is potentially gone.

While there’s no telling what any of this means, or knowing what Google has in store next week for Google I/O, rumors paint a few possible scenarios. It’s all but confirmed that the LG G Watch and Moto 360 smartwatches running Android Wear will debut, we even saw the G Watch briefly appear on the Play Store this week before being removed. That being said, we can expect Google to offer at least one of the two smartwatch options on Google Play in the coming weeks, and potentially other devices as well.

We know the smartwatch plans already, but what about other devices? According to various leaks a new Nexus 8 is coming inside of Q3. Meaning July, August, or September. If Google manages to follow a similar path as last year we can expect Google I/O next week to focus on Android Wear, Developers, YouTube, Android as a whole, and the LG G Watch, with no talk of Android 4.5 (5.0) or even a new tablet.

Instead, a few weeks later Google may announce the new Nexus 8 at a small get together just like the new Nexus 7 (2013), and offer it on the Play Store inside of Q3 like we’ve been hearing for a few months now. With three devices being cleared out this week from Google Play, that leaves room for a new LG G Watch, the Nexus 8, and potentially anything else released in the coming days or weeks. Maybe even a Google Play Edition LG G3, or the rumored yet still missing Galaxy S5 GPe handset.

It’s too early to tell what Google has planned, not to mention in previous years Nexus devices leak at least a few times before being revealed, so we’ll have to wait and see what is in store. That all said, three devices just got removed from the Google Play Store inventory, and we could see some new gadgets arriving sooner rather than later.

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Nexus 8 Rumors Continue as Google Play Edition Devices Disappear is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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5 Reasons to Buy a PS Vita in 2014

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 21:01

5 Reasons to Buy a PS Vita in 2014 is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Launched in 2011, Sony’s PS Vita handheld contains the hope and dreams of an entire generation of gamers. When it launched, it was understood that Sony was going for a different segment of the gaming market.

The PS Vita is for users who want more than just playing a quick game of Angry Birds online. Users can do that if they want, but it’s more of a premium experience. Unfortunately, guaranteeing that premium experience means charging users a premium price tag and Sony has had a tough time selling buyers on the idea.

Naturally, users of smartphones and tablets are wondering if the PS Vita is worth buying in 2014, especially since other mobile consoles like the Nintendo 3DS have grown in popularity and smartphone games have become more sophisticated. The answer is a resounding and absolute “yes.”

The PS Vita Has Modern Hardware

Make no mistake, the PS Vita is Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s complete domination of handheld gaming. Like the Nintendo 3DS it has joysticks and physical controls so that gamers can move in-game characters as precisely as they can with Sony’s PS4 video game console.

Unlike the Nintendo 3DS though, the PS Vita was built with the hardcore gamer in mind. It is as powerful as a last generation home entertainment console, and nn its front is a spacious 5-inch display that both looks nice and has great viewing angles. Sony clearly tried to pack a full-gaming experience into a handheld.

Beyond all of that Sony borrowed heavily from what makes gaming on the iPhone so fun. The PS Vita has all the modern features that one would expect from a mobile device. The handheld features Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity so that users can connect to the internet and other mobile devices. Sony was also smart enough to understand the needs of mobile users in the post-iPhone age. As such, there are versions of the PS Vita that include wireless internet access over mobile networks. There’s also a rear-facing touchpad so that users can interact with casual games in a way that’s similar to playing games on a smartphone.

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Online services aren’t exactly unexplored territory for gaming. Microsoft changed the game when it launched Xbox Live for the original Xbox. Likewise, Sony changed mobile gaming forever when it introduced a robust online gaming network for the PS Vita.

The biggest advantage users get out of this are games themselves. The PS Vita doesn’t require that users sign up for a PS Plus account, but Sony practically ensures that PS Vita owners will continue to pay $9.99 a month for the service by providing them with tons of free games each month.

These free games aren’t just small throwaway titles, and Sony doesn’t limit themselves to giving PS Plus subscribers to just one free PS Vita game. Subscribers have access to a complete collection of titles to download at their leisure.

PS Vita Hardware is Better Suited for Playing Video Games on The Go

Often times, those within the gaming industry focus on hardware. That’s understandable, but what casual gamers and those who aren’t planning on picking up multiple gaming consoles should focus on are the games themselves.

The PS Vita doesn’t just have games. It has its own stable of games that aren’t yet possible on smartphones. Don’t misunderstand, lite favorites like Minecraft and Angry Birds are available on the PS Vita in droves. That being said, users shouldn’t just buy it for those titles. The PS Vita’s hardware is capable of running high-fidelity games with graphics that rival the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Plus, those joysticks make it the perfect device to play titles that traditionally aren’t great on mobile devices. For example, Borderlands 2, the very popular first-person shooter and role-playing game is completely playable on the PS Vita. It also looks fantastic on the device’s 5-inch display.

The PS Vita is the Ultimate PS 4 Accessory

The PS Vita is perfectly integrated into the entire PlayStation experience. That is to say, the PS Vita works with other PlayStation consoles in ways that makes sense.

Through Remote Play, users can pair the PS Vita with their PS 3 or PS 4 and play games off the console – wherever they are. Users don’t have to be at home to play the latest titles like Destiny, they can stream it over their local network or while abroad. As long as users have speedy internet access at home and a decent connection abroad, their home console’s titles are available to them from just about anywhere.

Additionally, all the content – music and videos – that users purchase on their console is also available through apps on the PS Vita. In some cases, games actually share save files between the PS Vita and Sony’s home consoles. This way users can start playing on their lunch break and continue playing on the PS 3 when they get home.

It’s Still a Mobile Device

Today, smartphone users are flocking to devices with larger screens. They still want to be able to carry a device around in their pocket, but they also want bigger font sizes when they’re browsing the web and larger displays for watching Netflix. Buying devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 gives them the bigger screen they crave, but forces them to carry around a smartphone that’s horrible to hold for long periods of time. These large phones also look absolutely ridiculous when held up to the face.

The PS Vita actually has an app store of its very own. To be clear, it’s not as robust as what users get with the iPhone or iPad. The PS Vita Store does include the basics though. There’s Netflix, Hulu Plus and TuneIn, for example. Using the PS Vita for entertainment conserves user’s smartphone battery and doesn’t end up making them look ridiculous in public. Plus, some versions have their own mobile internet connection, preventing users from absolutely killing their smartphone’s data plan.

The PS Vita isn’t the perfect device all gamers. Mobile gamers might not know what to do with all this power, and there are definitely cheaper ways to Angry Birds. That being said, serious gamers, those who want first-person shooters and online role-playing games should accept no imitations. The PS Vita is worth buying because Sony understood what gamers wanted and packed it into a mobile device.

PS Vita bundles with just Wi-Fi start at just $199.99 without a game.

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5 Reasons to Buy a PS Vita in 2014 is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Fix Coming Soon for Watch Dogs Problems Frustrating Users

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 16:13

Fix Coming Soon for Watch Dogs Problems Frustrating Users is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Developer Ubisoft has confirmed that it has a fix on the way to address the horrendous game saving issues among other Watch Dogs problems that have surfaced since the game’s launch last month.

Ubisoft announced an upcoming patch for Watch Dogs on its community forums earlier today. When this patch arrives it’ll not only include a fix that stops Watch Dogs from corrupting game saves, it’ll also automatically recompile user’s game saves so they can pick up the game’s campaign and side missions exactly where they left off. That’s absolutely great news for Watch Dogs players who’d found that the game would only load a percentage of their save before getting stuck.

When the update launches on all versions of the game it’ll also include fixes for random bugs that the company wasn’t able to squash before Watch Dogs’ release. Ubisoft is putting an end to the glitches that prevented users from finishing specific missions in the wrong circumstances. It’s also squashing a problem that left users without any weapons to choose from.

This update will address a specific issue that kept users from hacking the ctOS operating system that the futuristic in-game version of Chicago uses for just about everything. Watch Dogs heavily relies on that game mechanic to aid players in their adventures. Without it, users would have to rely on stealth and the game’s shooting mechanics to get them through most levels. Some levels in the game are completely unbeatable without hacking.

Ubisoft has only confirmed that this update will recover user’s mission progress. Some users may still find that the collectibles they’ve found are still missing. Ubisoft says those may remain unfix-able even after this update.

The developer’s post notes that PS4 and PS3 users should expect their console to automatically prompt them to update pretty soon. It also noted that PC Watch Dogs players should expect the update to arrive in the next few days. Its Xbox One and Xbox 360 users that are being left in the lurch for now. There aren’t any recommend ways of getting around these issues and Ubisoft is only saying that the fix will be available “within the next week” for those consoles.

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Really, it’s a shame that such a debilitating issue has effected an otherwise really decent game. Watch Dogs launched this past May to wonderful reviews. Mostly that was due to its mix of unique gameplay elements and traditional gun play. In Watch Dogs users are given just a smartphone and some basic weaponry.

The smartphone is important because almost every bit of Chicago is controlled by a single operating system called ctOS. Users can openly hack ctOS to assist them with tasks in the game. For example, users can engage in a shootout with a private security group to break into a specific area or they can take out the power grid in the area and slowly assassinate the entire protection team in the dark. ctOS hacking also comes in handy when users are trying to end car chases or stopping fugitives without jeopardizing citizens lives.

The hacking makes what would otherwise be a pretty pedestrian open-world game feel fresh and new as Gotta Be Mobile noted in its review of the game last month.

Read: Watch Dogs Review – Is it Worth Buying?

Xbox One users will find that their copy of the game is updated in the background if they have the console’s low-power mode enabled. PS3 and Xbox 360 users will get a prompt to download a title update the moment they start-up the game. Currently Watch Dogs is only available on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, PS3 and PS4. The game isn’t on the Wii U yet, but Ubisoft has plans for a release on Nintendo’s console later this year.

 

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Fix Coming Soon for Watch Dogs Problems Frustrating Users is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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New Samsung Galaxy Android 4.4.2 KitKat Updates Hit U.S.

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 16:05

New Samsung Galaxy Android 4.4.2 KitKat Updates Hit U.S. is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Samsung’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update release continues in the United States today as two new devices, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and Samsung Galaxy Mega are getting their upgrade from Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to Google’s latest.

In January, Samsung started rolling out its version of the Android 4.4 KitKat update. The update first landed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and weeks later, it touched down for its former Galaxy S flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S4. Since then, the company has worked hard to push out Android 4.4 KitKat updates to a number of devices including the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S3.

The company’s push in the United States has been extremely aggressive with Sprint leading the charge. The carrier was first to both the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat updates. The carrier is back again with two brand new Galaxy Android 4.4 KitKat updates, both of which will land today for their respective users.

Sprint today announced plans to push out the Galaxy S4 mini and Galaxy Mega Android 4.4 KitKat updates. The updates are going to be rolled out Over-the-Air which means that they may not land for every single user today. Sprint’s Android updates typically roll out over the course of a week or so so users will need to remain patient.

The carrier did not get into detail but Samsung posted a change log for the Galaxy S4 mini Android 4.4.2 KitKat update that should give users an idea of what to expect from Samsung’s latest Android update.

  • New Lock Screen Access
    • Media Controls – full-screen album art and media controls when listening to music
    • Camera Shortcut  – access the Camera application right from the lock screen
  • SMS App Chooser – select a default application for sending and receiving SMS text messages
  • Restyled Status and Navigation Bars – status and navigation bars are translucent and can sit on top of apps, along with simplified status bar icons
  • Consolidated Location Settings – location services are integrated and more detailed by new Location menu
  • Expanded Emoji Icons
  • Wireless Printing – supports printing over Wi­-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Prevention Information pop-up message is suppressed.

The update is similar to the Android 4.4 KitKat updates that recently rolled out for the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy S3. That is to say that they are dominated by Android 4.4 KitKat features and not by changes to Samsung’s TouchWiz software.

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These updates roll out amidst a massive Android 4.4 KitKat push in the United States and around the world. Samsung is currently pumping out Android 4.4 KitKat updates to the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 and it’s still working on completing the roll outs for the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3. The U.S. is beating the curve at this point but several key updates remain missing.

T-Mobile still hasn’t pushed out its Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates, AT&T has yet to offer an update to its Galaxy Note 2, and Verizon has yet to push an Android 4.4.2 KitKat update to its Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update remains missing for users in MetroPCS and C Spire Wireless.

It’s still not clear if any of these devices will be getting Google’s latest Android 4.4 KitKat update, Android 4.4.3 KitKat. Rumors suggest that Samsung has the software in the lab and that it will be releasing the software for the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy S4 LTE-A. The Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will reportedly roll out sometime this month while the Galaxy S4 LTE-A update will supposedly land in July.

Neither update has been confirmed by Samsung and there is a good chance that Samsung will remain silent until the day the roll out begins.

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New Samsung Galaxy Android 4.4.2 KitKat Updates Hit U.S. is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Amazon Firefly on Fire Phone: Cool and Spooky

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 02:51

Amazon Firefly on Fire Phone: Cool and Spooky is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

You have to give Jeff Bezos and Amazon credit where credit is due. Amazon has a mission, and that mission is to get you to shop on Amazon and buy from the millions of products it offers. While Amazon has been venturing into the hardware world of late, it still sticks to that company line with every device it offers. When word first starting leaking out several years ago that Amazon was going to create its own smartphone, the assumption was that it would follow the Kindle tablet line as a mobile device shopping portal. When Amazon announced the Fire Phone today, that’s exactly what it delivered. Yes, there are other features that don’t necessarily relate to Amazon shopping, but the addition of the service Amazon calls Firefly is all about finding clever ways to make you spend your dollars at Amazon.com.

In fact, the Fire Phone with Firefly looks to be the smartphone that will actually try to take some of the drudgery of shopping out of your hands. So much so that some of the features look like advancements of cool tech we’ve seen before, but perhaps a bit spookier than we’ve seen before. Amazon says it can recognize and compare prices on 100 million different objects. And at the touch of the Firefly button the goal is simply and boldly turn your entire life, online or out in the real world, into one gigantic series of shopping opportunities.

But wait a minute, you say. We’ve had the ability to do price comparisons on our smartphones for quite some time using cameras and scanning bar codes. That’s true. That practice is called “showrooming.” We’ve all done it. We see something we want in a store, check the online price on our smartphone and buy it cheaper from an online source. Google Googles is one example of the kind of image recognition that we’ve seen on smartphones before. And Amazon’s own Flow technology was incorporated into its own iOS shopping App awhile back.

Well, apparently the way we’ve been used to doing this kind of “showrooming” shopping involves too many steps in Jeff Bezos’ latest vision. Firefly can take a picture, or listen to a song, or a film or TV show and compare it to the proudly boasted “100 million items” Amazon is waiting to sell you. Amazon is delivering a phone that can take over the shopping experience from soup to nuts. You can shop, compare prices, and purchase your merchandise basically with the push of a button. You can probably buy some soup and nuts that way. From what we know now, you won’t necessarily be able to take a picture of your daughter’s hair beret and find it on Amazon, but we’re going to be closer to that than we were before.

Firefly is almost, but not quite, always on and always listening. And to give you an idea of how important this is to Amazon, there is a dedicated Firefly button on the side of the Fire Phone. In fact, you don’t even have to unlock the phone to use the Firefly feature as you can hit the button and snap a picture. When a result is returned you can unlock your Fire Phone to see the info. Snap a picture of something and Firefly identifies it and tells you the price. Listen to a song and Firefly leads you to a purchase. (On Amazon of course.) The same is true with movies and TV. But it isn’t just digital media that Firefly works with, it’s any range of items. Most know that they can buy just about anything from Amazon these days. And that’s obviously Amazon’s ultimate goal here.

And with Amazon throwing in 12 months of Amazon Prime for free (new members get their first 12 months and current Prime subscribers get a 12 month extension) Amazon is going to make it quite easy for you to get into or continue buying from the empire that Bezos built.

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What’s also interesting is that Amazon is opening up the Firefly SDK to developers so they take advantage of it within their own Apps. The question will be whether or not we’ll see those choices displayed alongside the choices from Amazon when a consumer looks for a result. Amazon discussed several Apps that are taking advantage of Firefly. One of those is Vivino that will release an App which will give you information about a bottle of wine you scan. Another example is the health-focused MyFitnessPal. That app that can determine the nutritional information from a picture of the food in your meal. Instead of manually entering in the nutritional info, that data can flow from FireFly into the App.

And Firefly isn’t just for shopping. Apparently you can Firefly anything from an address to an item on a bulletin board, or a magazine, and Firefly technology will allow you to insert that info into your Contacts or other Apps. Snap a picture of a sign with a url and you can go to that website without having to enter the web address.

Note though, that this is all being done by sending that info to Amazon’s servers that parses it and then sends your Fire Phone the results. So, Amazon has created a tool to gather even more information about you than just your shopping preferences. Privacy advocates might note that in the Fire Phone debut, Jeff Bezos talked about Amazon using millions of images of faces to train the Fire Phones 3D camera features. It isn’t hard to imagine a scenario with Amazon using your photos of just about anything to feed its recommendation engine. (By the way, Amazon is offering unlimited Cloud storage for your photos.) But that’s the trade off if you’re an Amazon shopaholic and this kind of thing appeals to you.

Retail outlets and big box stores have been complaining for years about the kind of “showrooming” shopping that the Fire Phone will only encourage. It will be interesting to see how they respond to a device that makes the process even easier for consumers. Assuming of course, that consumers actually buy the Fire Phone.

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Amazon Firefly on Fire Phone: Cool and Spooky is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S5: What Rumors Reveal Right Now

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 23:38

iPhone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S5: What Rumors Reveal Right Now is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

As we get closer and closer to the fall, we’re starting to see consumers struggle with a very tough decision: Buy the Samsung Galaxy S5 or wait for the iPhone 6 to arrive to decide between the two. While we can’t answer that question for you, we can help point you in the right direction. Today, we want to take an updated look at how the rumored iPhone 6 is stacking up with the Samsung Galaxy S5.

In 2012, Samsung announced the Galaxy S3, a device that featured a massive redesign and a number of high-end features aimed at pulling consumers away from big name devices like the iPhone. Thanks to its features and a massive marketing campaign, the Samsung Galaxy S3 was able to successfully combat Apple’s iPhone and establish Samsung as one of the premier smartphone manufacturers in the world.

In the years since, we’ve seen the Galaxy S and iPhone continue to wage war on one another. In 2012, Apple released the iPhone 5, the first iPhone with a larger 4-inch display, 4G LTE data speeds, and the Lightning dock standard. In 2013, Samsung released the Galaxy S4 to compete against the iPhone 5 and Apple’s lesser iPhones. Apple fought back with last year’s iPhone 5s, a souped up version of the iPhone 5 that brought Touch ID, a new processor, a better camera, and new colors to the table.

This year, Samsung struck again. In February, the company took the stage and announced the Samsung Galaxy S5, a replacement for the Galaxy S4 and a device that the company is currently marketing as its flagship smartphone model. As we’ve noted, the Galaxy S5 is one of the best smartphones on the market and a solid candidate for most people in the hunt for a new smartphone.

In the weeks since its release, we’ve received a number of questions from smartphone shoppers. One of the most prominent questions pertains to this year’s iPhone, a device that is currently called iPhone 6.

There is reason to be interested in both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6. The Galaxy S5 is a top device, the iPhone 6 is rumored to be a pretty significant upgrade. And while you still can’t walk into a store and compare the iPhone 6 to the Galaxy S5, there are enough details out to warrant an early comparison.

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We can’t tell you which phone to buy right now but we can arm you with as much information as we possibly can. That said, this is how the iPhone 6 rumors stack up with the Samsung Galaxy S5 right now.

You’ll Need to Wait

You’re not going to be able to buy the iPhone 6 until the fall, it’s as simple as that.

Literally every single iPhone 6 release date rumor points to either to September, October or November and for those just tuning in, the timing of the release makes a whole lot of sense. It’s before the holidays, it’s the same window that Apple’s used before, it lines up well with Apple’s fiscal year which ends on September 27, 2014.

We typically see the new iPhone release arrive early enough to count opening weekend sales on the final quarter of their fiscal year. Apple sold more than 5 million iPhone 5 units in 2012 and combined new iPhone sales topped 9 million with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in 2013. In other words, September is the safest bet right now when it comes to the iPhone 6 release.

For those that aren’t keeping track, here is a rundown of some of the iPhone 6 release date rumors:

  • New iPhone launch as early as September – Nikkei
  • New iPhone launch in August or September - Steve Milunovich UBS via Barrons
  • iPhone 6 launch in the fall - Andy Hargreaves at Pacific Crest via Business Insider
  • New iPhone scheduled for third quarter 2014 – ZDNet Korea
  • New iPhone launch in September – Ming-Chi Kuo via MacRumors
  • New iPhone 6 in September – iFun
  • iPhone 6 launch in August or September – Economic Daily News
  • New iPhone in September – Industrial Commercial Times

As we’ve pointed out, the other key piece of the puzzle is the iOS 8 release date which Apple recently confirmed for the fall. New iOS software is always accompanied by new iPhone hardware. In other words, iPhone 6 release date rumors have firmed up around the fall and more specifically around September and October.

There is no question that the iPhone 6 will arrive on a multitude of carriers, in a variety of retailers and in a number of different regions around the world. It will almost certainly match the Galaxy S5 in this regard.

Galaxy F Prime (left) vs Galaxy S5 (right)

One other thing of note. Rumors suggest that Samsung will be releasing a souped up Samsung Galaxy F later this year, perhaps alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The Galaxy F may not be a Galaxy S in name but it’s looking like it could be a very solid addition to the Galaxy family.

Rumors point to a 5.3-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 805 processor, 16MP camera, 2MP front-facing camera, LTE-Advanced support, microSD support and Android 4.4.3 KitKat. It also appears to have a metal design.

It’s not clear where it might land but it’s a device that we recommend keeping tabs on as we get closer to September.

Size Difference

Thanks to a series of iPhone 6 leaks, we have a pretty good idea about what we can expect from the iPhone 6 design. Rumors have pointed to a metal redesign that includes a slimmer frame as thin as 7mm, changes to the buttons, and two new screen sizes including a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model. The 4.7-inch model is expected to debut in September while the larger model could come later in October.

The 4-inch iPhone 5s vs the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5.

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that the iPhone 6 could be a whole lot thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S5 which measure in at 8.1mm thick. It also means that we could see an iPhone that is a little closer in size. Apple’s iPhone 5s and its 4-inch Retina display are much smaller than the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5.

From what we’ve seen, the 5.5-inch iPhone could be a lot larger than the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S5. However, the smaller 4.7-inch model may not be that much bigger than iPhone 5s and actually could be a lot smaller than the Galaxy S5. The photos below will give you a rough estimate of the 4.7-inch models size compared to the Galaxy S5.

This is how the iPhone 6 might stack up next to the Galaxy S5. Galaxy S5 on left.

The dummy unit is thinner and shorter than the Samsung Galaxy S5 which hints at a more pocketable smartphone. The iPhone is well known for being easy to store and easy to use with one hand.

 

The Galaxy S5, on the right, is just 8.1mm thin.

As we’ve pointed out, the Moto X, which sports a 4.7-inch, is actually comparable in size to the 4-inch iPhone 5s. Thin bezels, button placement and other little nuances help free up the space and keep the device’s form factor compact and easy to use with one hand. This is key for smartphone owners and it’s something that Apple appears to have keyed in on with the iPhone 6.

Looks

After an iPhone S release, we typically see Apple focus in on the design of the iPhone. The company has never used the same design three times in a row So, in what should come as a surprise to no one, iPhone 6 rumors point to a major redesign that could leave the iPhone 6 looking more like the iPod touch than the iPhone 5s.

iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5s.

We already mentioned the size differences but there should be some other differences, and similarities, as well. One key difference will be the build material. Apple is rumored to be using metal for its next iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is not made out of metal. Instead, it features a perforated back comprised of a plastic matte material. It’s a lot sleeker than the Galaxy S4′s design but it pales in comparison to the iPhone 5s’.

iPhone 6 rumors continue to point to the use of sapphire crystal for the display. Sapphire would essentially render the iPhone 6 scratch proof. It’s still not clear if both iPhone models will have it. The Galaxy S5 uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass to protect its front side from damage.

iPhone 5s design vs Galaxy S5 plastic.

While the iPhone 6 could come with sapphire, it may not come with the IP67 certification that the Galaxy S5 has on board. The Samsung Galaxy S5′s design is both water and dust resistant. While Apple could have a surprise up its sleeve for the iPhone 6 design, we haven’t heard anything about water or dust resistance. This could be an area where the Galaxy S5 has an edge.

5.5-inch iPhone 6 and 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

iPhones never come with a microSD card slot or a removable back plate. The Galaxy S5 has both. And the iPhone 6 design is expected to feature Touch ID fingerprint technology to match the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Beautiful Looking Content

The Samsung Galaxy S5′s 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display is one of the best in the business. Movies, games, and the web all look fantastic. DisplayMate, one of the leading voices in display technology, believes that the Galaxy S5 trumps the Retina Display. However, Samsung’s advantage may not last for too much longer as the iPhone 6 is expected to feature not just a size change but a resolution change as well.

The iPhone 6 screen is rumored to have a sharper 1704 x 960 display with the same widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio that’s found on Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. To get a feel for how that resolution change might impact the iPhone 6, take a look at the mockup below.

This mock up shows a potential iPhone 6 resolution compared to the iPhone 5s. Image from 9to5Mac.

If Apple does increase the resolution and the pixel count on the new iPhone, and all signs currently point in that direction, then we’ll get a new Retina Display that delivers crisper, better looking content than the Retina Display on the iPhone 5s. iPhone 6 rumors also indicate that Apple also might increase the size of some apps in order to better take advantage of the resolution and the screen size.

So, at the very least, we would expect it to be on par with the Galaxy S5′s display. Either way, you’re going to get a solid experience from both of these smartphones.

Powerful Hardware

iPhone 6 rumors tell us that the next iPhone will almost certainly be able to match the Samsung Galaxy S5′s power.

The Galaxy S5 comes with a ton of high-end features including a 16MP camera, Snapdragon 801 processor from Qualcomm, 2GB of RAM and a massive stock battery. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 camera, in particular, is a standout.

iPhone 6 rumors suggest that we’ll see the iPhone 6 deliver at least three key hardware upgrades including a brand new camera with image stabilization, a new A8 processor for better performance and battery life, and support faster data speeds. These are all expected. Apple always performs yearly maintenance on the iPhone and typically, the camera and the processor are part of those yearly iPhone upgrades. Samsung did the same with the Galaxy S5.

There are also two wild cards that we’ve heard could make the final cut on Apple’s new iPhone. One, NFC. Near-Field Communication would allow users to treat their iPhone 6 like a debit or credit card. The other, wireless charging. Wireless charging, like NFC, has been available on Android smartphones for a number of years now. Both of these are available on the Galaxy S5.

The iPhone 6 may include mobile payments with NFC.

Here’s what’s important. Both of these devices will almost certainly offer enough firepower to the average user. There will, however, be some smaller less noticeable differences (image stabilization for example) that consumers will need to look into before buying. Some of these smaller differences will be huge for many users.

Software

The iPhone 6 will likely run iOS 8, an operating system that will look and perform much different than the Android software found on the Samsung Galaxy S5. iOS 8 doesn’t look a whole lot different than iOS 7 so those curious about the different looks will want to take a look at the video below. It will give you a rough overview.

Both the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6 will run powerful software and it’s going to be up to consumers to decide which one suits them best. This is why we highly suggest waiting for the iPhone 6 to arrive before coming to a final decision. It’s important to go hands on with these two devices because of the two different operating systems.

Price Difference

The Samsung Galaxy S5 retails for $199.99 on-contract and around $650 off-contract. This could fall in line with the price of one iPhone but maybe not the other.

Rumors tell us that if Apple does release two iPhone models, the larger iPhone 6 will be more expensive than the 4.7-inch model. Analysts continue to point to a $100 price difference between the two with rumors pointing to $199.99 and $299.99 price points. This makes sense given how Samsung has structured its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note price points.

What’s important to note though is that the Galaxy S5 will likely see a dramatic price drop by the time the iPhone 6 arrives. Already, we’re seeing it on sale for $99 on-contract and we would not be surprised if the price plummets at certain retailers when the iPhone 6 arrives. We’re talking bargain bin pricing and price tags much cheaper than the iPhone 6.

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iPhone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S5: What Rumors Reveal Right Now is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Amazon Fire Phone vs LG G3: Key Features Explained

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 22:17

Amazon Fire Phone vs LG G3: Key Features Explained is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Today the highly anticipated and all-new Amazon Fire Phone was finally announced, and it will be taking on some of the best Android smartphones later this summer. Both the new Fire Phone and the LG G3 will be released in July, and consumers will be looking for reasons to pick one vs the other.

Rumors have swirled for years that Amazon would make a smartphone, and now they’ve finally done it. Offering some brand new never-before seen things on an Android smartphone, or any smartphone, as well as bundling all their services into one package. However, the LG G3 has some features no other phone (in the USA) can claim, so lets see how they stack up.

Read: Amazon Fire Phone : 10 Things Buyers Need to Know

The LG G3 was revealed back in May and has a lot to offer, not to mention is more of a traditional smartphone when compared to the Amazon Fire Phone, but both have advantages. Below we’ll touch on a few impressive features of both the Amazon Fire Phone and the LG G3, as well as why you may choose one vs the other.

Finally. Amazon has announced a smartphone and consumers will be able to get their own come July 25th. However, it’s exclusive to AT&T, so if you’re on any other carrier you’ll simply be out of luck for now. It could arrive on others eventually, but there’s no details to support that yet. This is a bad start already, the LG G3 is coming to all major US carriers next month.

In case you missed the announcement or link above, the new Amazon Fire Phone has some cool new features. Of course it’s still a phone, so we have a quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM for apps and games, a 13 megapixel camera for snapping photos to add to Facebook, and a 4.7-inch HD display for viewing content. That said, most of the specs match the LG G2 or other devices from last year, and can’t compare to a flagship device like the new LG G3. Does that matter though? The Fire Phone offers a few things that may have you forgetting about specs and processor cores.

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The Fire Phone has four infrared cameras on the front of the device (any two will be used at a time) that track your face and head to deliver an immersive experience like never before on a smartphone. This isn’t just a 3D interface or iOS 7 parallax effects, this is a dynamic and changing perspective of what’s on the screen based on the viewers location and eyes.

Images become 3D, maps can be tilted to see more details past the edge of the display, and everything has an immersive and alive feeling like no other phone. Or so they say. It’s a neat approach, but we’ll have to see it in person to really see how it works and if it’s worth the wasted screen space to add four cameras.

We’ve seen 3D on smartphones, but Amazon promises this is something completely different that makes you feel one with the device, and what’s on the screen like never before. Being a comparison and all the G3 does nothing like this, but it does have a much bigger screen with a super high resolution display, but more on that below.

Firefly

Firefly, or the Firefly button, is something brand new to the Fire Phone that actually looks pretty impressive. Think of it like Google Search but for things, products, songs, videos, wine and more. All able to be instantly recognized (like Shazam recognizes a song) and instantly searched by the Fire Phone. This will bring up details about the wine, IMDB info on a DVD cover or movie poster, and of course recognize songs.

You probably all know where this is going. Amazon is a retail giant, and many of the over 100 million things Firefly can instantly recognize, you’ll be able to buy right from Amazon. It will tell you the name of a song or what video is playing, then let you buy or rent it from Amazon services. You can tap firefly and let the camera take a scan of a neat accessory on a truck, and most likely Amazon offers it from their large online inventory of stuff. Firefly is basically helping users search for, recognize, and buy anything and everything in seconds. All from Amazon of course.

MayDay

So what if using the Android-powered Fire OS 3.5 interface is confusing, or you’re not sure how to use Firefly? Amazon’s MayDay service will help you. 24/7 365 days a year live (and free) video tech support is less than 15 seconds away on the Fire Phone. Tap a button and instantly get help, or even shown right on the device as a service rep can remotely control your device. This will help users sign up a Gmail account, add Facebook, or do anything else they may need help with.

Mayday is a rather impressive way to help consumers and give them a sense of trust in a product, and no one can match it. Not even those Genius Bar’s that are always crowded at Apple stores.

LG G3

So far we’ve only been talking about the Fire Phone, but we wanted to highlight a few key features that it offers over the competition. Nothing explained above is available to other Android devices, nor are they available on the LG G3. So while they’re great, the Fire Phone has some cons itself, and here’s what makes the LG G3 a better option.

Quad-HD display

The four cameras and dynamic perspective on the screen may be nice, but we’re not sure how well it will work when others are looking at the screen, not to mention any battery life concerns. Second, the Fire Phone has a small 4.7-inch 720p HD display. Most phones last year were 1080p, and this year we’re in 2k territory with the new LG G3.

It’s the first phone in the United States with a 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD display. Four times that of the resolution on the Fire Phone. So images will be crisp, clear, and bright, and overall a much better visual experience than the Fire Phone. As long as you aren’t looking for a 3D-like dynamic view.

Laser Auto-focus

Surprisingly the Fire Phone 13 megpaixel camera actually has Optical Image Stabilization, but so did the LG G2 last year. The new G3 coming out next month has OIS+, an improved version, but that isn’t all. The LG G3 camera features an infrared laser auto-focus only seen in DSLR cameras til now.

It offers one of the fastest auto-focus cameras on a mobile device, stunning photography, and great low-light performance. The Fire Phone surely can’t match that, but they did claim their camera was better than the iPhone 5S in the reveal of the Fire Phone today.

Rear Button Design

The all-new Fire Phone has a dedicated camera button which should be helpful, but that button also launches Firefly, so it may be confusing. The rest of the buttons are a rather standard affair. volume rocker on the side with a power/wake button up top. The LG G2, and the new G3 has a rear-facing button design.

Designed to comfortably be reached with your index finger while holding the device, the buttons are all on the back of the device. It’s a unique approach many were worried about last year, but it has paid off and many love this feature and can’t wait to enjoy it on the LG G3.

Google, Google, Google

If you’ve ever used an Android device in the past and love the wide array of Google services, the Fire Phone is not for you. One of the biggest differences of these two devices is the software. With the LG G3 we have Android 4.4.2 KitKat, with a few changes specific to LG’s needs. Amazon on the other hand, strips Android to a minimum and designs it for their own needs, and to sell more Amazon stuff.

There is no Google Play Store on the Amazon Fire Phone. Meaning you won’t have access to the million apps available. You won’t have Gmail, no Google Maps or navigation, Google Play Music, Google Calendar, YouTube, Google Hangouts and more. It’s all missing. Amazon strips all this down and wants you to use Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Music services, and their own Amazon AppStore with about 240,000 apps.

The image above was provided by Amazon right on the Fire Phone store listing. See anything missing? There’s absolutely no Google. If you’re tied into the Android ecosystem this phone isn’t for you. However, if you love Amazon and Amazon Prime, the Fire Phone could be a good fit.

These were just a few key observations about these two phones, as they’re both going to be released in the United States next month. Both devices have powerful quad-core processors, plenty of storage, good cameras, and a few neat tricks up their sleeves. That said, which is right for you? Hard to say. Prospective buyers will want to know what they each have to offer that differentiates them from the competition, and the things mentioned above are a few of the important ones.

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Amazon Fire Phone vs LG G3: Key Features Explained is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Nexus 7 Deal Offers Incredible Savings

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 21:33

Nexus 7 Deal Offers Incredible Savings is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Nexus 7 deals continue to tempt consumers as Nexus 8 rumors swirl.

It’s been nearly a year since Google took the stage in San Francisco and debuted its Nexus 7 2013 and the company’s Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. The company’s Nexus 7 remains on sale on the Google Play Store starting at $230 though the device is now touting the company’s brand new Android 4.4.3 KitKat update, an update that fixed a number of Android 4.4 KitKat problems.

The 7-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution display is a joy to use.

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen Nexus 7 deals start to emerge with greater frequency as retailers look to entice consumers with deep discounts. The latest deal for Google’s current Nexus tablet comes from eBay and it takes the device’s price down to an incredible new low that should have consumers interested, even in the face of Nexus 8 rumors.

The deal comes from an authorized seller and it slashes $60 off the price of the 16GB Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi only model. Those looking for the LTE version of the device will have to look elsewhere. The deal drops the price of the device all the way down to $170 making it one of the best Nexus 7 deals that we’ve seen in quite some time.

This Nexus 7 deal drops the price of Google’s tablet well below the starting price tag of Apple’s iPad mini and helps to breathe new life into a device that could be replaced in the coming days.

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Nexus 7 deals continue to slash the price of last year’s model as Nexus 8 rumors continue to swirl. Nexus 8 rumors continue to point to a high-end successor to the Nexus 7 and a device that could perhaps be the last Nexus-branded product.

Rumors suggest that the device will come with a larger 8.9-inch display with resolution greater than 2K, a processor that could offer 64-bit support, 3GB of RAM, a new Android update, and a price tag that could be a tad more expensive than the Nexus 7′s starting price. The device is rumored to be from HTC and not Asus, the company that delivered the first two Nexus 7 tablets.

Nexus 8 rumors have centered around a release in the third quarter which means that we may not see the device arrive at Google I/O next week. The Nexus 7 arrived in the third quarter as well, July to be exact, and it’s possible that Google will use its launch as a mold for the Nexus 8′s. Of course, the device is still far from confirmed.

Rumors suggest that Google will be canning the Nexus program in favor of Android Silver. Android Silver will reportedly deliver some of the key features from the Nexus program in addition to a massive marketing push from Google itself. The program is said to be aimed at Apple’s iPhone, a device that has been a thorn in Google’s side for years.

Google’s next tablet, a Nexus 8 or otherwise, will likely face heavy opposition from competitors like Apple. Rumors suggest that Apple will be delivering two new iPads later on this year in the form of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. Both devices are rumored for the fall alongside the company’s new iPhone 6 and the fabled iWatch.

While the Nexus 8 could be a bit of a departure from the Nexus 7, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are said to be similar to the tablets that landed on shelves at the tail end of last year. Both devices will reportedly come with similar designs but could boast some big hardware improvements including Touch ID fingerprint security and brand new 8MP cameras.

Like the Nexus 8, the two new iPads remain unconfirmed though consumers should expect rumors to swirl as we head deeper into the year.

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Nexus 7 Deal Offers Incredible Savings is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Facebook Slingshot iPhone App Is a Snapchat Clone

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:04

Facebook Slingshot iPhone App Is a Snapchat Clone is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

Facebook launched a new app called Slingshot, that takes the basic idea of Snapchat and adds a bit of a twist to it.

Slingshot allows users to quickly and instantly send photos or short video clips to other users, but the catch is that users cannot see what another user sent them without sending another photo or video back to them. This essentially means that the app is just one vicious circle with no end to the image-based conversation, but we suppose that’s how Facebook intended it to be.

Plus, just like Snapchat, users can take a photo and then draw or type on the photo to add a little bit more fun to the app.

To start, you can send a photo or video to a friend, or open one that a friend sent you. However, before you can open it, you have to send a photo or video of your own back to them. You can also send a “reaction” to their photo or video, where you can view their photo/video on the top half of the screen, while your camera is on the bottom half of the screen. After you take a photo or record a video, it will send instantly to the other user.

It’s an interesting concept and one that could easily catch on, but there are a few barriers to entry that users should be aware of, most notably the surprisingly tedious sign up process.

First off, Slingshot doesn’t fully integrate with other Facebook apps, including the regular Facebook app and Facebook Messenger. Instead, you have to enter in your phone number and create a user name before you can begin using Slingshot. The only integration with Facebook is the ability to connect the app with Facebook in order to find other friends who use Slingshot.

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It’s a bit interesting how the app doesn’t let you login using your Facebook credentials and it doesn’t integrate with Facebook Messenger at all, although Messenger does have Snapchat-like features of its own. Slingshot is an entirely separate app, and you wouldn’t even know it was a Facebook-branded app in the first place, seeing as how there’s little branding in the app and the user interface is a lot different than what you would expect from a Facebook app.

Despite these odd setbacks, Slingshot is at least worth checking out since it’s a free app in the iTunes App Store. However, Snapchat may still be the go-to app for users who are into instant photo and video conversations. It’s been around longer and has a larger user base right now. Plus, Snapchat allows you to send text messages as well, which adds a bit more to the conversation than Slingshot would.

Furthermore, Snapchat even comes with video chatting, thanks to a recent update to the app not too long ago. Users who are actively using the app at the same time can instantly begin a video chat by holding down the in-app shutter button.

The cool thing about the live video chatting in Snapchat is that it removes a lot of the friction that comes with traditional video chatting apps. Usually, you have to call someone and wait for them to pick up before you can actually start video chatting, but with Snapchat, all you have to do is tap on the shutter button (which turns blue when you’re both on the app) and start video chatting right away, with no lag between calling and answering video calls.

It’s possible Facebook’s Slingshot will grow over the next few months with more features, but Snapchat still takes the cake amongst most users who want instant video and photo sharing.

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Facebook Slingshot iPhone App Is a Snapchat Clone is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Amazing iPhone & iPad Photo Apps Bring Magic to Mobile

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 15:43

Amazing iPhone & iPad Photo Apps Bring Magic to Mobile is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

Adobe announced a slew of updates and new products for creative photography professionals and enthusiasts including updates to Creative Cloud, a new version of Lightroom mobile that adds the iPhone to the iOS version that already ran on an iPad, and a new photo editing app for the iPad called Photoshop Mix. Add in a new version of Creative Cloud focused on Photographers that lowers the entry price into the Creative Cloud subscription service Adobe introduced last year.

All of these new updates apps become available today from Adobe. We’ve got the highlights about these great new features included in Photoshop CC, the new mobile apps and the new photography-focused subscription service introduced by Adobe.

Adobe updated Creative Cloud with enhancements to Photoshop.

Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan for $10 a Month

The new version of Photoshop CC included in the updates from Adobe will not cost as much thanks to a new Photography Plan that users can get for $9.99/month. Adobe included the new version of Photoshop CC and an updated Lightroom mobile app that now runs on iPad and iPhone in addition to the computer version. Subscribers will also get a tighter integration between the programs and apps thanks to better cloud computing features and syncing. Finally, there’s an awesome new photo editing app for iPad called Photoshop Mix.

The new Lightroom mobile syncs between iPad, iPhone and computer versions of Lightroom.

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Users can learn how to use these programs and apps thanks to Adobe Creative Learn, something also included in the plan. Creative Learn gives users great tutorials on using the new features in their subscription benefits.

Adobe Photoshop Updates

The above video from Adobe shows off the new version of Photoshop CC that’s part of both the full Creative Cloud suite and the new Photography Plan. Give it a watch to learn about updated features.

First, we see Perspective Warp, which lets the photo editor adjust the perspective of a part of the image without changing the area around that spot. There’s also awesome new Blur Gallery motion effects in the filters menu that lets editors add a Path Blur along a line in the image that the editor specifies by dragging across the photo. Another part of the Blur Gallery includes Spin Blur. Suppose a photo includes something that spins very fast like a wheel or an old vinyl record. This new Spin Blur lets the user not only add a circular blur, but they can also edit the shape and path of the blur. Watch the video above for a demo of how this works. The effect results in a more dynamic looking photo which tells a better story than a static shot of a record.

These changes now happen faster thanks to a faster rendering engine. It’s like getting an updated computer without buying new hardware.

A third new feature called Focus Mask automatically select the area of the image that’s in focus and lets editors pump up the blur of the rest of the shot. Use this to focus attention in a shot on a specific element or a person in a portrait. Increase the depth of field in the shot to better grab attention.

Content Aware Fill, Move and Patch got an upgrade so that it now better samples the area behind the object or element that the editor wants to remove, move or fix. Adobe also added better stylus support for Windows 8.1 users on a tablet.

Adobe now integrates TypeKit into Photoshop. This lets layout professionals add beautiful type fonts from Adobe’s TypeKit service directly inside the program. It also syncs these new fonts across the Internet to the second computer running Creative Cloud.

Photoshop Mix and Updated Mobile Lightroom

A new mobile app called Photoshop Mix brings some of the powerful computer version of Photoshop CC to the iPad.

Photoshop Mix brings the powerful Content Aware editing feature to the iPad.

Compare the above shot where the editor selects the dog on the beach by painting over it. Notice how the person added a boat and moved the dog.

Photoshop Mix looked amazing in the demo Adobe gave us. It handles editing photos and works seamlessly with the mobile version of Lightroom to sync photos in collections. Features include:

  • Integration with Lightroom mobile
  • Syncing with Creative Cloud storage
  • Export and Import to and from Facebook and Instagram
  • Great auto-correction of images
  • Optimized for touch on an iPad
  • Real time loading and fluid editing
  • Auto selection features works great even on complicated images with grass, tree leaves, animal fur or human hair

Photoshop Mix includes a selection of useful filters.

The person who showed it off to us said that it gives us more of the features of Photoshop for the computer but on an iPad. If it performs as demonstrated, then he’s right.

Photoshop Mix (free) and Lightroom mobile will automatically import the iOS Camera Roll and upload them to the Creative Cloud. This lets photographers and photo editors access the images on all of their devices and both computers connected to their Creative Cloud account. The computer version of Lightroom also automatically syncs with the mobile version. Imagine taking nice shots on an iPhone 5s. Tagging and rating the on the iPad and then opening Lightroom on a Mac and editing the shots. Then grab an iPad and do some finer edits using Photoshop Mix and finally upload those shots to Instagram, Facebook or share them to Twitter using the iPhone again.

Photoshop Mix lets users share photos in a number of ways.

Photoshop Mix comes free, but to get the most out of it a user will want to subscribe to either the full Creative Cloud suite which costs $50/month or the new Photography Plan for $10/month. Students and educators can get a discount on the full suite for $30/month.

These apps only work on iOS 7 and iOS 8 when it launches this fall. The apps also only work on Retina Display devices. This includes …

  • New iPad (iPad 3)
  • iPad with Retina Display (iPad 4)
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini with Retina Display
  • iPhone 4s, 5 and 5s
  • New iPhones or iPads announced this fall.

See images in Photoshop Mix from Lightroom, Facebook, Instagram, Creative Cloud storage or the iPad’s camera roll.

Photoshop Mix doesn’t replace Photoshop Touch, but instead appeals to a broader audience. Touch tried to mimic Photoshop on the iPad whereas Photoshop Mix takes advantage of the touchscreen display to give editors a better experience.

Photoshop Mix will only work on iOS for now, but they hope to ship an Android version later this year. It doesn’t work with RAW images yet either.

A new Creative SDK will let third-party developers take advantage of some of these new tools in their apps. We look forward to new apps integrating the cool features from these updated and new Adobe mobile apps.

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Amazing iPhone & iPad Photo Apps Bring Magic to Mobile is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Incredible iPhone 6 Leak Predicts New Features

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 23:12

Incredible iPhone 6 Leak Predicts New Features is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

A new iPhone 6 leak predicts all of the key features on board Apple’s rumored successor to the iPhone 5s.

For months, iPhone 6 rumors have swirled around teasing prospective smartphone buyers with tales of an upgraded iPhone complete with larger displays, a new camera, processor, and a brand new design. And as we’ve moved deeper into the year and further away from Apple’s WWDC 2014, we’ve seen many of those rumors begin to firm up ahead of launch.

Today, a brand new leak from Chinese language site Economic Daily News predicts several of the iPhone 6′s key details including screen sizes, display types and of course, the iPhone 6 release date. The site’s claims line up with many of the iPhone 6 rumors we’ve seen emerge in the past two months in the buildup to the device’s rumored fall release.

New iPhone 6 photos show the device next to the iPhone 5s.

According to the publication, the iPhone 6 will come in two different sizes, 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. Both models have been rumored extensively in recent weeks and leaks have shown consumers what the two devices could look like next to the iPhone 5s, HTC One M8, and others.

The site claims that while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will use sapphire material for its display, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 may use Corning’s Gorilla Glass for protection against scratches and damage. Rumors have been back and forth about whether both iPhone models will use sapphire crystal with the 5.5-inch model appearing the most likely candidate to receive the new protective material.

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Supply chain sources suggest that Apple is having trouble sourcing the sapphire material, something that could force it to abandon it for the 4.7-inch model and something that could lead to supply issues for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 throughout 2014. The site claims that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is not facing the same supply issues and that yield is on track.

EDN predicts that the iPhone 6 will be released at the end of the third quarter. The third quarter consists of July, August and September which puts the iPhone 6 release in the month of September. iPhone 6 release date rumors have universally pointed to at least one iPhone release in September followed by the release of the 5.5-inch model later in the year, perhaps as late as November.

Apple is reportedly hosting a launch event in October that could produce the company’s fabled iWatch. This report, however, offers conflicting information and says that the iWatch will instead be announced at the end of the third quarter, or September. The publication believes that the iWatch will be introduced with a price tag around $350.

The device is expected to feature a curved OLED display. It’s also expected to run a modified version of iOS 8 though details remain scarce in the build up to its launch. A display like this wouldn’t be far-fetched, but an earlier rumor suggests that the iWatch will have a circular display.

The company is also said to be working on incremental replacements to the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. Both devices are rumored for the fall with the iPad Air 2 release said to be coming sooner than last year’s iPad Air release date.

iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5s.

Apple’s iPhone 6 is expected to be much more than an incremental upgrade. In addition to the larger displays, the iPhone 6 is rumored to have a brand new A8 processor, a new camera that utilizes image stabilization, Touch ID, iOS 8, and a thin new design that could measure in and around 7mm.

Analysts believe that Apple could charge a $100 premium for the larger 5.5-inch model. Apple historically has slotted its iPhones in at $199.99, $99 and free-on-contract price points. An increase to $299.99, the same price as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, would put the iPhone in new territory.

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Incredible iPhone 6 Leak Predicts New Features is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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LG G3 Prime Rumors Already Starting to Surface

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 22:24

LG G3 Prime Rumors Already Starting to Surface is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

The impressive looking LG G3 was only announced a few weeks ago at a major press event by LG Mobile, and the device has yet to actually launch anywhere outside of Korea. Even with all the top-tier specs and market-leading hardware they have inside the device, we’re already starting to hear rumors of a better model.

Just like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, the new LG G3 is now also falling victim to rumors about a  “Prime” variant on the way. We’ve been hearing a Galaxy S5 Prime with an aluminum design is coming for months, and until two weeks ago the same type of rumors emerged regarding an even better HTC One M8 Prime with an 18 megapixel camera.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime Details Emerge

The technology world is a crazy one, especially in mobile, and things move rather quickly. While consumers are still just starting to learn about how awesome the LG G3 could be once it arrives sometime next month, we’re already hearing an improved version could be in the works for later this year.

The Korean site Naver has unearthed evidence to suggest an improved LG G3 is coming, or at least a similar device with even better specs than the model the company just announced last month. While this could be an LG G Prime, G+, or even a different G3 for another market, we’ll need more details or leaked information to be sure.

Overall the device in question sounds rather similar to the LG G3, only with a few small changes under the hood regarding the processor. In general tech enthusiasts want the latest and greatest, but average consumers just want an excellent all around smartphone that works great, and will last. The LG G3 is poised to be one of the better Android options in 2014, but now this has emerged making us wonder what LG has in store.

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The brand new LG G3 comes with a class-leading 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD display with extremely thin bezels, and is installed into a flagship smartphone with plenty of stunning features. The 13 megapixel camera on the rear has Optical Image Stabilization, and LG even added a laser auto-focus like many DSLR cameras. A smartphone first. The device sounds rather impressive, but an even faster model could possibly replace it.

Read: 5 Reasons to Wait for the LG G3

According to Naver a new LG smartphone is being tested with nearly identical specs as the G3, with a few small changes. Like the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and a few others, the LG G3 runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor that’s extremely quick. However a better, faster, more efficient and improved Snapdragon 805 is on the horizon. This is what’s causing all the “Prime” hype, as all smartphone manufacturers want to offer a device with the new Snapdragon 805.

The Snapdragon 805 improves battery life while also being faster and better at multi-tasking and gaming. Devices can charge quicker thanks to impressive battery technology by Qualcomm, it has improved 4k video recording and playback support, image post-processing for all those fancy focus and 3D effects we’ve been seeing as of late, and promises to enable and deliver the fastest 4G LTE and WiFi speeds to date. Meaning phones with a Snapdragon 805 will be the best on the market.

With the LG G3 only being available in Korea with a release date throughout the United States expected to be sometime in July, rumors of an improved Prime version already are rather premature. That isn’t to say they won’t launch a new variant, but it’s way too early to tell.

In previous years (like with the G2) LG launched its devices later in the year to take advantage of the latest technology. It was the first smartphone in the U.S. to be powered by the Snapdragon 800, while Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and the original HTC One ran the 600 series. Meaning this year the earlier launch of the G3 has caused them to match the competition, instead of being able to one-up them with something better.

Of course it’s far too early to tell what LG has planned, or if an improved version will ever be coming, but the rumors have already started to surface. We could also see LG release a large 5.7-inch or bigger device to compete with the incoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4, so we’ll keep an eye out for more details.

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LG G3 Prime Rumors Already Starting to Surface is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Use Facebook on iPhone with No Ads

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 21:02

How to Use Facebook on iPhone with No Ads is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

The recent changes to Facebook’s iPhone app has made it all the more annoying to use. The company updated its app to hide the “Most Recent” feed, which is arguably the most-popular feature of the entire app. Plus, the addition of more and more ads makes the Facebook iPhone app nearly unbearable to use.

However, there’s no reason to fret, because Facebook has another app that gets rid of these annoyances and provides a better user experience overall.

It’s called Paper, and it’s essentially an alternative way to browse Facebook on your iPhone. Ultimately, it’s a better way to browse Facebook, as the design and look of Paper is elegant and simple. The app relies on swipe gestures to navigate around, and perhaps the best feature of Paper is that there are no ads to be found.

The app is still fairly new, but it was launched all the way back in January as an alternative way to access Facebook from your iPhone. Paper received a very generous update just recently, adding even more capabilities that put it more on par with the regular Facebook app. Users can now edit their profile and cover photos, view photo tags, mention other friends using the “@” tag, and even use hashtags.

The previous update to Paper added the ability to view friends’ birthdays, events, and group updates, so it’s definitely an app that’s getting attention from Facebook and will most likely grow over the next few months and years, although it’s still fairly underground and hasn’t taken off in the mainstream yet, so if you haven’t yet checked it out, now is a great time to do it.

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Perhaps one of the best features of Paper is that there are no ads to found whatsoever. This a huge problem with the regular Facebook app, with ads showing up in the middle of users’ News Feeds, which can get really annoying. With Paper, however, you won’t see ads if you don’t want to. There is a section that you can add in Paper called “Trending,” which can get a little advertisement fever, but it’s a section that you don’t even have to have on the home page, which is really nice.

To download Paper, simply just open up the App Store on your iPhone and search for “Paper” in the search field (or you can visit this link on your iPhone and download it directly from there). It should be one of the first results to pop up, but to make sure that you’re downloading the right app, just be sure that “Facebook, Inc.” is in the name of developer, which will appear in small grey letters under the app’s name.

From there, just click on the big Free button to begin downloading the app (you may have to enter in your Apple ID password first).

When you open up the app, you’ll be prompted to login with your Facebook credentials, and after that you’ll officially be in and able to use the app to its full potential. The app heavily relies on swipes to navigate around, so you’ll frequently be swiping up and down to open and close different items, as well as swiping left and right to go to the next or previous item in your News Feed.

Perhaps the niftiest feature of Paper is the ability to tilt your phone to the left or right to pan across full-size photos and see it in more detail. It’s a little gimmicky, but it’s fun to use and makes the app feel more interactive, which is something that the regular Facebook app severely lacks.

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How to Use Facebook on iPhone with No Ads is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Use Immersion Reading on Kindle Fire Tablets

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 20:53

How to Use Immersion Reading on Kindle Fire Tablets is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

One of the benefits of the marriage between Amazon and Audible.com is the ability to have both text and audio versions of books on your device and to use them almost interchangeably between the two using Amazon’s Whispersync for Voice technology to keep the two versions in sync. Amazon bought Audible.com in January, 2008. In order to take advantage of Whispersync for Voice on a Kindle Fire Tablet  and also now on iOS and Android, you need to have purchased both the text version of a book and also the audio version, which you can get as an upgrade once you’ve purchased the text version.

Another nice feature of having both versions on your Kindle Fire Tablet is called Immersion Reading. Essentially if you have both the audio and text versions on your device you can have the audio portion read the professional narration along out loud while you are perusing the text. There are some who really like that feature and some who find it distracting, but like most things in life that’s up to individual.

Amazon recently updated its Kindle App for iOS and Android to make it easier to switch back and forth between audio from Audible and text from Amazon. Curiously that feature hasn’t come to the Kindle Fire tablets yet. But, Immersion Reading is a feature that you can, at the moment, only get on Amazon Kindle Fire tablets.

Read: How to Use the New Kindle App for iOS and Android to Listen to Audio

Immersion Reading should not be confused with the audio narration called Text to Speech. Text to Speech doesn’t require you to have an Audible audio version purchased or downloaded, but it only delvers a computerized audio version of the text.

When using the Immersion Reading feature a visual highlight will follow along in the text. That essentially dictates your pace of reading. In the lower right corner of your screen you’ll see a small half-dial that allows you to adjust the pace of the audio with a range of 0.5x to 2x with stops along the way at 1.x 1.25x 1.5x and 1.75x. The feature can certainly be useful for those who want to have audio follow along with their reading or follow along with text while listening.

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To use the Immersion Reading on a Kindle Fire Tablet you need an Kindle Fire Tablet obviously. The models that feature Immersion Reading include The Kindle Fire HDX, Kindle Fire HD 2nd Generation, Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Fire 2nd Generation. You also need to purchase and download both the text version of a book from Amazon and the Audible audio version.

If you have purchased the text version of a book, then you can use an Amazon service called “The  Matchmaker” to see which books are eligible for audio upgrade pricing. That pricing ranges from  $.99 to $12.99 for the audio version. Those prices are set by the publisher.

If you have both an Audible and Amazon account you most likely have merged those accounts by now as Amazon worked to make that happen awhile ago. If for some reason those accounts are not synced you can do so here. Once you have both the text and audio versions on your Kindle Fire tablet you essentially set and ready to go. That said, in testing this feature and also the new Kindle app for iOS and Android I noticed a few bumps in the road.

Instructions from Audible say that if both versions exist on your device you’ll see a Play button in the lower portion of your screen. Initially the Play button didn’t appear for me. In searching on Amazon’s customer support forums I saw a number of users suggesting to turn on the Text to Speech feature. That only turns on the robotic computerized voice, not the Audible narration. So to use this Immersion Reading feature make sure Text to Speech is turned off. You can find the on/off for Text to Speech under the View menu which allows you to change font size, background color, and line spacing among other controls.

 

Other users suggested that you perform a sync of your content to get the Play button to show up. You can find the Sync All Content command under Settings for your tablet.

Other users noticed that the Play button simply showed up after not appearing initially. I’m not sure which worked for me, but at one point in my testing the Play button did indeed show up.

Once you’ve confirmed that the feature is working with the title you want to read/listen to, it really is as simple as hitting the Play button. If you want to switch the audio off, just hit the Play button again. If you then read ahead in the text without audio accompaniment then the next time you want to listen to the audio you’ll pick up where you left off reading in the text.

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How to Use Immersion Reading on Kindle Fire Tablets is a post by Warner Crocker from Gotta Be Mobile.

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